Top Ten Slovakian Attractions

Top Ten Slovakian Attractions

SlovakiaLevoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments1Bratislava1

       The Slovak Republic is a landlocked state in Central Europe. It has a population of over five million and an area of about 49,000 square km (19,000 sq mi). Slovakia is a landlocked country bordered by the Czech Republic, Austria, Poland, Ukraine and Hungary. The largest city is the capital, Bratislava, and the 2nd largest is Košice. The official language is Slovak, a member of the Slavic language family. The Slavs arrived in the territory of present day Slovakia in the 5th and 6th centuries during the migration period. In the course of history, various parts of today’s Slovakia belonged to Samo’s Empire (the first known political unit of Slavs), Principality of Nitra (as independent polity, as part of Great Moravia and as part of Hungarian Kingdom), Great Moravia, Kingdom of Hungary, the Austro-Hungarian Empire or Habsburg Empire, and Czechoslovakia. A separate Slovak state briefly existed during WWII, during which Slovakia was a dependency of Nazi Germany between 1939–1944. From 1945 Slovakia once again became a part of Czechoslovakia. The present-day Slovakia became an independent state on January 1, 1993 after the peaceful dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Slovakia is a high-income advanced economy with one of the fastest growth rates in the European Union and the OECD. The country joined the European Union in 2004 and the Eurozone on January 1, 2009.Slovakia together with Slovenia and Estonia are the only former Communist nations to be part of the European Union, Eurozone, Schengen Area and NATO simultaneously.

  1. Bratislava
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    Bratislava is the capital and largest city of Slovakia with a population of about 431,000. Bratislava is in southwestern Slovakia on both banks of the Danube River. Bordering Austria and Hungary, it is the only national capital that borders two independent countries. Bratislava and Vienna are two of the closest European national capitals to each other, at less than 60 km (37 mi) apart. Bratislava is the political, cultural and economic center of Slovakia. It is the seat of the Slovak president, the parliament, and the executive branch of the government. It is home to several universities, museums, theatres, galleries and other important cultural and educational institutions. Many of Slovakia’s large businesses and financial institutions also have headquarters there. The history of the city, long known by the German name Preßburg, has been strongly influenced by people of different nations and religions, namely by Austrians, Czechs, Germans, Hungarians, Slovaks and Jews. The city was the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Monarchy territories, from 1536 to 1783 and has been home to many Slovak, Hungarian and German historical figures.
    Links: Cities, Top Ten Bridges, Top Ten Towers, Castles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bratislava,
  2. Košice
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    Košice is a city in eastern Slovakia. It is situated on the river Hornád at the eastern reaches of the Slovak Ore Mountains, near the border with Hungary. With a population of approximately 240,000, Košice is the 2nd largest city in Slovakia after the capital Bratislava. Being the economic and cultural center of eastern Slovakia, it is the seat of the Košice Region and Košice Self-governing Region, the Slovak Constitutional Court, three universities, various dioceses, and many museums, galleries and theaters. Košice is an important industrial center of Slovakia with the U.S. Steel Košice mill being the largest employer in the region. The city has a well preserved historical center, which is the largest among Slovak towns. There are many heritage protected buildings in Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Secession styles with Slovakia’s largest church, St. Elisabeth Cathedral. The long main street, rimmed with aristocratic palaces, Catholic churches and houses, is a thriving pedestrian zone with many boutiques, cafés and restaurants. The city is well known as the first settlement in Europe to be granted its own coat-of-arms. In 2013, it will hold the European Capital of Culture title together with Marseille, France.
    Links: Top Ten Coat of Arms, Top Ten Art Nouveau Works of Art, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ko%C5%A1ice,
  3. Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments
    Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural MonumentsLevoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments1Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments2Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments3Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments4Levoča, Spiš Castle and Associated Cultural Monuments5
    The ruin of Spiš Castle is one of the largest castle sites in Central Europe. The castle is situated above the town of Spišské Podhradie and the village of Žehra that with adjacent ecclesiastical town Spišská Kapitula form components of the UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2009, the site was extended to include the famous altar by Master Paul of Levoča and the historic center of Levoča with many well preserved Renaissance buildings.
    Links: Castles, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levo%C4%8Da,_Spi%C5%A1_Castle_and_associated_cultural_monuments,
  4. Bardejov
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    Bardejov is a town in North-Eastern Slovakia. It is situated in the Šariš region and has about 33,000 inhabitants. The spa town, mentioned for the first time in 1241, exhibits numerous cultural monuments in its completely intact medieval town center.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardejov,
  5. Trenčín
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    Trenčín is a city in western Slovakia of the central Váh River valley near the Czech border, around 120 km (75 mi) from Bratislava. It has a population of more than 56,000, which makes it the 9th largest municipality of the country and is the seat of the Trenčín Region and the Trenčín District. It has a medieval castle, standing on a rock above the city.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tren%C4%8D%C3%ADn,
  6. Banská Štiavnica
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    Banská Štiavnica is a town in central Slovakia, in the middle of an immense caldera created by the collapse of an ancient volcano. For its size, the caldera is known as Štiavnica Mountains. Banská Štiavnica has a population of more than 10,000. It is a completely preserved medieval town.
    Links: Top Ten Volcanoes, Top Ten Clock Towers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bansk%C3%A1_%C5%A0tiavnica,
  7. Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst
    Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak KarstCaves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst1Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst2Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst3Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst4Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst5
    The Caves of Aggtelek Karst and Slovak Karst consists of 712 caves spread out over a total area of 55,800 ha along the border of Hungary and Slovakia.
    Links: Caves, Top Ten Cave Paintings, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caves_of_Aggtelek_Karst_and_Slovak_Karst,
  8. Carpathian Wooden Churches
    Carpathian Wooden ChurchesCarpathian Wooden Churches1Carpathian Wooden Churches2Carpathian Wooden Churches3Carpathian Wooden Churches4Carpathian Wooden Churches5
    The Carpathian Wooden Churches consists of nine wooden religious buildings constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries in eight different locations in Slovakia. They include two Roman Catholic (Hervartov, Tvrdošín), three Protestant (so-called Articular churches in Hronsek, Leštiny and Kežmarok) and three Greek Catholic churches (Bodružal, Ruská Bystrá and Ladomirová) plus one belfry in Hronsek. In addition to these churches there are about 50 more wooden churches in the territory of present-day Slovakia mainly in the northern and eastern part of the Prešov Region.
    Links: Churches, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wooden_Churches_of_the_Slovak_Carpathians,
  9. Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians
    Primeval Beech Forests of the CarpathiansPrimeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians1Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians2Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians3Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians4Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians5
    The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are a transnational composite nature site. The Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians include 10 separate massifs located along the 185 km (115 mi) long axis from the Rakhiv Mountains and Chornohora Ridge in Ukraine over the Poloniny Ridge (Slovakia) to the Vihorlat Mountains in Slovakia. The Ancient Beech Forests of Germany include five locations in various parts of Germany. The Carpathian site covers a total area of 192,672 acres, out of which only 72,350 acres are part of the actual preserved area, while the rest is considered a “buffer zone.” Over 70% of the site is located in Ukraine. The area includes two national parks, a biosphere reserve, and few habitat controlled areas (mostly in Slovakia). Both national parks along with the neighboring Poland compose a separate biosphere reserve, the East Carpathian Biosphere Reserve. Besides Havešová, Rožok, and Stužica (all of them being located in Bukovské vrchy) there is a 4th component situated in Slovakia, namely Kyjovský prales of Vihorlat. Ukrainian locations include Chornohora, Kuziy-Trybushany, Maramarosh, Stuzhytsia–Uzhok, Svydovets and Uholka–Shyrikyi Luh. However, only a few of the ten components are accessible for visitors. For instance, Stužica is the only one of three locations in Bukovske vrchy (Slovakia) with available hiking trails. Five German forests covering 4,391 hectares were added in 2011.
    Links: Top Ten Forests, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primeval_Beech_Forests_of_the_Carpathians,
  10. Vlkolínec
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    Vlkolínec, Slovakia, is a picturesque village under the administration of the town of Ružomberok. Historically, however, it was a separate village. The first written mention of the village came from 1376 and after 1882 it became part of Ružomberok. Its name is probably derived from the Slovak word “vlk,” meaning wolf. This village is an untouched and complex example of folk countryside architecture of the region of the Northern Carpathians. Vlkolínec, situated in the center of Slovakia, is a remarkably intact settlement with the traditional features of a central European village. It is the region’s most complete group of these kinds of traditional log houses, often found in mountainous areas. The village consists of more than 45 log houses each of them made up of two or three rooms. A wooden belfry from the 18th century as well as the baroque chapel has also been preserved. Houses No. 16 and 17 are turned into the folk museum with all the instruments of daily life and work.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vlkol%C3%ADnec,
  11. Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slovakia,